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263 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I saw a picture of a truck bed slide, and thought that was a pretty neat idea. When we go camping we do a good job of loading up the rear of the bronco, and it can be a pain to reach across the tailgate to get things, especially with the added height of the deck (due to larger tires and lift).

But I didn't want to spend $1000+ for pre-made system, so I hunted around.

I found an eBay store that was selling the locking drawer slides. For ~ $150 you can find a set of 36" locking slides rated for 500#. Lose the lock-in /-out (un safe) or reduce the rating to 150#, and you can find some for around 50$.

I used a set of angle brackets to tie the slides to deck, and once I hand them placed against the wheel wells, I measured between them for the width of the slide. My dimensions came out to exactly 36" x 44".

I used 1x2 hardwood cut for the frame, with a center support, then topped it with a 48x48x1/2" MDF.

I cut two pieces 36.0". Since they measure 3/4" thick, I cut the two ends to 42-1/2" and the center stringer was cut to 34-1/2.

I flushed the outside ends, then pinned them with a single finish screw, and used 2" angle brackets to square them up. The middle stringer when right down the center, and then I made sure the frame was square.

I bolted the drawer slides to 6 2" angle brackets (3 per side), using washers, lock washers, and nylock nuts to keep things secure. The front of the drawer frame is flush with the end of the slide, and then I started to pin the frame through the slide. I used every hole, with screws running every 4".

With the frame attached to the slides, I then placed the top plate of 1/2" MDF and screwed it to the frame edges and down the middle.

Now the whole assembly can be placed in the bronco to verify clearence between the rear seat and the closed tailgate. Once I was happy, I pinned the slide to deck through the angle brackets, using #10 sheet metal screws.

If I was smart, I would have painted and sealed the wood before putting it in the bronco, as well as setting up some tie-down spots. Instead, I cut out the hold-down mounts, then painted the top and facing edge, in case it gets wet when the window is down. After the paint dried, I placed the tie downs, and buttoned things up. Now I'm ready to roll.

It sure makes it easier to get to my 100# bag of tire chains and recovery gear bag.

Cargo slide. Drawer slides are rated for 500#. 36x44

Inside of drawer slides.

Outside of slides. Angle brackets tie the slide to the deck using #10 sheet metal screws

Tie downs / handles in place.

Painted. Still need two more tie down rings. And eventually I get a rubber mat, maybe even build a 1/4 lip around the edge
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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
36,680 Posts
That's pretty damn sharp man. :thumbup Handy for shorter guys like myself.
Been using 2x4 frames in pickup beds like that for years. Keeps stuff from sliding about and you can just pull the whole thing out to bring whatever is up front, right to the gate. Your design is far superior for the carpeted Bronco cab though. :thumbup

263 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Interesting. :thumbup Which ones did you buy? These?

I don't see lock levers at the rear of your slides - how do they work? Do they lock open & closed, or just closed?

Were they described as "full-exension"? None of your pics show the back edge of the drawer at the front edge of the outermost slide panel, so they look like maybe 7/8 extension. Does the drawer actually move 36"?

Did you consider putting the floor brackets under the slides & drawer, or letting the deck overhang the slides & floor brackets so it could be wider?

Did you glue all the wood joints, in addition to the screws?
These are the ones I actually installed :

These slides are only 34" in length and non-locking (I didn't find the locking ones until after the non locking ones had shipped), as I wanted to give myself some 'oops' room. After the fact, I discovered I could have fit in the 36" slides with no problem. I still have 4-1/4" from the rear of the slide to the seat back, so as long as the slide does not exceed 38-1/2" (slide + locking lever) you should be in good shape.

Doing it over, I would have gone with these: Their spec sheet says that the locking lever adds +1-1/4" to the slide length, so we're still under that 38-1/2". I will make up a set of pegs to screw to the inside that fold down against the edge of the tailgate when fully extended to act as a lock. This is my biggest regret in making this and I don't want anyone to repeat my error.

I'll get some better pics of the front and take some measurements, but it's at least pretty close to full exentsion, within an inch or so.

I didn't use glue on the frame only because as cool as it is, it would have taken forever to set and cure (non-insulated garage).

Hah! After I made this post, and thought about it, I realized I could have moved the brackets inwards and added 2" per side. Hindsight, ya know? If I ever decide to redo the frame (maybe weld up some 3/4" square tube or angle as the frame, then lay in a sheet under it as the base?) I'll widen out the slides. Easy enough to do, if you redo the slide frame.

Super Moderator
9,700 Posts
awesome job! Thats very much like what I want to do to mine. I found a place that makes them with an aluminum tub that slides in and out. I need to find that link again one of these days.

263 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
awsome work.. just a little piece of advice, MDF is extremely absorbent, so make sure your paint is high quality and a couple layers thick. hate to see all that work get ruined.
There's two layers of primer on it now, and also a rubber mat, if I can find one like I used on my toolchest (the webstore is no longer there...). If not, I'll bed-line the surface for protection.

113 Posts
Really nice job. I was thinking about doing this but no idea where to start, now I do.
Thanks for the write up.

22 Posts
Nice work I like it. I am working on drawings for a drawer slide out

154 Posts
I like the idea

530 Posts

'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0 M/T, 33's, 4.10 LSD
2,626 Posts
I thought everyone just steps up on the bumper and climbs in to get stuff out of the back... I do like that diamond plate box behind the wheel well, though. I've been wanting to do something more useful with that space for holding bigger things.

just a little piece of advice, MDF is extremely absorbent, so make sure your paint is high quality and a couple layers thick.
There's two layers of primer on it now, and also a rubber mat
It should be pointed out, long after the fact, that primer by itself doesn't protect stuff from water. Just the opposite, in fact. It absorbs moisture and tends to do more damage than no surface coat.
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